What’s New in Testing
Lab Testing Update
This document updates recommendations for HIV testing by laboratories in the United States and offers approaches for reporting test results to persons ordering HIV tests and to public health authorities. In brief, testing begins with a combination immunoassay that detects HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies and HIV-1 p24 antigen. All specimens reactive on this initial assay undergo supplemental testing with an immunoassay that differentiates HIV-1 from HIV-2 antibodies. Specimens that are reactive on the initial immunoassay and nonreactive or indeterminate on the antibody differentiation assay proceed to HIV-1 nucleic acid testing for resolution.
Getting an HIV test is the only way to know if you have HIV. This section answers some of the most common questions related to HIV testing, including the types of tests available, where to get one, and what to expect when you go to get tested.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that clinicians screen adolescents and adults ages 15 to 65 years for HIV infection. Younger adolescents and older adults who are at increased risk should also be screened. This is a grade A recommendation. The USPSTF recommends that clinicians screen all pregnant women for HIV, including those who present in labor whose HIV status is unknown. This is a grade A recommendation.